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X the Unknown (1956)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | May 1957 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A radioactive, mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village.

Directors:

Leslie Norman, Joseph Losey (uncredited)

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (story), Jimmy Sangster (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Jagger ... Dr. Adam Royston
Edward Chapman ... John Elliott
Leo McKern ... Insp. 'Mac' McGill
Anthony Newley ... LCpl. 'Spider' Webb
Jameson Clark Jameson Clark ... Jack Harding
William Lucas ... Peter Elliott
Peter Hammond ... Lt. Bannerman
Marianne Brauns Marianne Brauns ... Zena, the Nurse
Ian MacNaughton Ian MacNaughton ... Haggis (as Ian McNaughton)
Michael Ripper ... Sgt. Harry Grimsdyke
John Harvey John Harvey ... Maj. Cartwright
Edwin Richfield ... Soldier Burned on Back
Jane Aird Jane Aird ... Vi Harding
Norman MacOwan Norman MacOwan ... Old Tom (as Norman Macowan)
Neil Hallett ... Unwin (as Neil Hallet)
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Storyline

British Army radiation drills at a remote Scottish base attract a subterranean, radioactive entity of unknown nature that vanishes, leaving two severely radiation-burned soldiers... and a "bottomless" crack in the earth. Others who meet the thing in the night suffer likewise, and with increasing severity; it seems to be able to "absorb" radiation from any source, growing bigger and bigger. What is it?? How do you destroy a thing that "feeds" on energy? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

NOTHING CAN STOP IT! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The U.S. version shown on TV for many years contained only introductory music under the Warners Brothers title, with no opening title music. The British version, featured on later DVD versions, contained James Bernard's opening title music. See more »

Goofs

Out of interest, the Thompson sub machine gun was issued to British forces. It was issued to regular army, Home guard (later TA) and especially auxiliary units. It was also issued to commandos, both army and later RN. Originating from the early twenties, the Tommy gun was issued to Brits much later, and some stayed in service for a very long time. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Adam Royston: Now, Mac, how would you go about killing that?
Inspector McGill: What is it?
Dr. Adam Royston: It's a particle of mud, but by virtue of its atomic structure it emits radiation. That's all it is. Just mud. How do you kill mud?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Stuff (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: V. Finale: Allegro vivace
(uncredited)
Written by Antonín Dvorák
See more »

User Reviews

 
A blob in Scotland
13 October 2013 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

X: The Unknown from Hammer Films was intended to be a sequel to the film, The Quatermass Xperiment. Objections from the writer Nigel Kneale meant that the plot of the film was reworked.

The original director was slated to be the noted American blacklisted Joseph Losey who started shooting the film but due to illness had to be replaced by Leslie Norman (Father of film critic Barry Norman.)

This is an unpretentious film dealing with issues with nuclear radiation very much in vogue in the 1950s in horror and sci-fi films. The films also predates The Blob by a few years which was more campy.

Soldiers in Scotland discover a bottomless crack in the ground with a mysterious source of radiation activity. An explosion kills a few of the soldiers from radiation burns. Soon several more people die of radiation burns.

American actor Dean Jagger plays Dr Royston from an Atomic Laboratory who hypothesized that a form of life from prehistory trapped in the crust of the Earth, tries to reach the surface every 50 years depending on the alignment of the sun and tidal waves in order to find food from radioactive sources.

As the entity, a glowing blob feeds on radiation its mass increases as it tries to make its way to nuclear plants to find more radiation.

The film has a mix of good special effects especially with people melting and some ropey ones as the blob moves taking over the town or with fire explosions that look like a match going off. A lot of the horror is off camera but the film maintain its thrills.

The acting from Dean Jagger and Leo McKern is straightforward. It has a fair amount of thrills such as a little girl being left behind in a church as the blob approaches or at the climax when a jeep gets stuck in the mud.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La incógnita X See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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